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Steve Jobs’ FBI File: Bomb Threat, Drug Use Noted in Background Check

David Paul Morris/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Steve Jobs, the Apple co-founder who transformed personal computing, communications and other fields with such products as the iPhone and iPad, also had a 191-page FBI file that detailed a federal background check, a bomb threat on his home and second-hand reports of drug use.

Released Thursday under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the FBI file shows that Jobs’ background was checked in 1991 for an appointment to the White House Export Council under President George H.W. Bush; and that he and other Apple employees were targets of a bomb threat in 1985.

The file reveals no felony convictions and dryly lists lawsuits in which Jobs was involved, but also cites unnamed associates who mentioned Jobs’ drug use and questioned his “honesty.”


In the 1991 FBI background investigation, an agent wrote, “Several Individuals commented concerning past drug use on the part of Mr. Jobs.”

The file adds, “Mr. Jobs also commented concerning his past drug use.”

On the same page, it notes, “Several individuals questioned Mr. Jobs’ honesty, stating that Mr. Jobs will twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals.  [Name redacted] also advised that he was aware that Mr. Jobs used illegal drugs, including marijuana and LSD while they were attending college.”

The file also notes that “based on the background information furnished by Mr. Jobs, he has no close relatives residing in communist-controlled countries.”  Former associates at Apple said they “recommended him for a position of trust with the Government.”

The file was posted on the FBI's website Thursday morning.  Most of it was compiled at the request of the White House in 1991, when Jobs was president of NeXT computers and owner of the then-struggling Pixar software company, which would later make such films as Toy Story.  Jobs, ousted from Apple in a 1985 power struggle, returned in 1996 and became its CEO in 1997.

The 1985 bomb threat concerns someone who was demanding $1 million and claimed to have placed explosives in Jobs’ home along with those of three other Apple employees.  The threat was traced to a hotel near the San Francisco Airport Hilton.

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